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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Salzburg and 1943 in Review

     On March 12, 1938, Austria was annexed to the Third Reich and ceased to exist as an independent country and there was an immediate undertaking to strip Jewish citizens of any assets they possessed. In 1938 the Nazis renamed Austria "Ostmark" until 1942, when it was again renamed and called Alpine and Danubian Gaue. 
     Though Austrians made up only 8 percent of the population of the Third Reich, some of the most prominent Nazis were native Austrians: Adolf Hitler, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Franz Stangl, and Odilo Globocnik. Over 13 percent of the SS and 40 percent of the staff at the Nazi extermination camps were Austrians. Vienna fell in April 1945, during the Soviet Vienna Offensive, just before the total collapse of the Third Reich. 
     The top wold news stories in 1943 were Churchill and Roosevelt held the Casablanca Conference and Italian dictator Mussolini was deposed and placed under arrest in July.  
     In 1943 in the United States the top songs were “Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer” by the Song Spinners and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby.
     World War II was beginning to turn in America’s favor as the Japanese and German expansion in the Pacific and Africa were stopped, then thrown back through such costly victories at Tarawa in the Pacific and defeat of the Afrika Corps in North Africa, followed by the Allied invasion of Sicily - then Italy. Millions were eligible for the draft and women were holding men’s jobs.

     Millions were eligible for the draft and women were holding men’s jobs. Copper was too valuable to use to make pennies, so it was the year of the steel penny. There was rent control and rationing which by now included canned goods, meat, fat, cheese, and shoes. Meat was rationed at 28 ounces per person per week and the government ordered minimum forty-eight hour work weeks at key defense industry plants. 

     Income tax! It had been tried during the Civil War, but only achieved constitutional legality with the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913. Lower income people did not have to pay income tax at that time. However, World War II was costing an unimaginable amount of money and Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury, advocated a pay-as-you-go format on more people so that money would constantly flow into the government coffers. So, on July 1, 1943, Congress passed the Current Tax Payment Act, placing a withholding tax on wages and salaries in order to allow workers to stay current with their tax liabilities and to provide continuous funding for the war effort. The withholding rate was 19 per cent on an annual income of $2000 (near $45,000 today) with up to 80 per cent on incomes over $200,000 (almost $3 million today). 
     Also in 1943 the Pentagon was completed and was the largest office building in the world. The Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 and 1902 are repealed and opened the door for the immigration and naturalization of Chinese. In sports the New York Yankees routed the St. Louis Cardinals four games to one in the world series. The classic radio program Amos 'n' Andy was canceled after 15 years and more than 4,000 consecutive shows. In medicine Dr. Selman Waksman discoverd streptomycin and coined the term antibiotic. Doctors begin to use the pap test to detect cervical cancer. 
     In chess, Bobby Fischer was born on March 9, 1943. Also born in 1943 were Luben Spassov, Bernard Zuckerman, Włodzimierz Schmidt, Tim Krabbe, Gennadi Sosonko, Orestes Rodriguez Vargas, Helmut Pfleger, Lubomir Kavalek, Mark Tseitlin, Ricardo Calvo and Peter Lee, 1965 British Champion. 
     A whole bunch of players died, including Abram Rabinovich who starved to death in Moscow, Stasch Mlotkowski, a prominent US master who died in Gloucester City, New Jersey and Vladimirs Petrovs. Sources say he died as a political prisoner in a Soviet labor camp in Kotlas, Russia. When asked whatever happened to Petrovs, I heard Edmar Mednis' terse reply, “The Russians shot him.” Salo Landau died in a Nazi concentration camp in Graditz, Silesia (then Germany, now Poland) and Heinrich Wolf, an Austrian master, was murdered by the Nazis. 
     Mar del Plata was won by Miguel Najdorf followed by Gideon Stahlberg, Paul Michel, Hector Rossetto, Herman Pilnik. Alekhine finished ahead of Keres in Prague, Rio de Janeiro was won by Erich Eliskases and in Lviv, Ukraine a tournament was won by Stepan Popel and Myroslav Turiansky both of whom would eventually end up living in the United States where they became prominent masters in the Midwest. 
     A tournament in Zlin (Czechoslovakia) was won by Cenek Kottnauer followed by Jan Foltys, Ludek Pachman, Frantisek Zíta, Jaroslav Šajtar and others. Ventnor City won by Anthony Santasiere and George Shainswit. Syracuse, New York was the venue for the 44th US Open which was won by I.A. Horowitz ahead of Anthony Santasiere. 
     Paul Keres won at Madrid and There was also a small tournament in Salzburg. I posted on the tournament at Salzburg in 1942 HERE, but there was a second, and lesser known tournament, held in Salzburg the following year. The first tournament (a double round event) was dominated by Alekhine when he finished a one and a half points ahead of Keres, followed by Paul Schmidt, Klaus Junge, Bogoljubov and Stoltz. 
     For the 1943 tournament Gosta Stoltz had gone back to Sweden and Klaus Junge was tending to his military duties; they were replaced by the Czech player Jan Foltys and German the champion Ludwig Rellstab. 
     The tournament was held in Salzburg June 9-18, 1943. 

1-2) Alekhine and Keres 7.5-2.5 (both undefeated) 
3) Paul Schmidt 4.5-5.5 
4) Ewfim Bogoljubov 4.0-6.0 
5) Jan Foltys 3.5-6.5 
6) Ludwig Rellstab 3.0-7.0 

     In the following game Keres shows Bogoljubow the dangers inherent in leaving your King in the center. By the way, Chess24 has an excellent article on Keres during the war years. 

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